Base Beauty’s Social Media Manager, Becca spent 16 years of her early life in the high-intensity, ultra-disciplined world of competitive gymnastics. After all those 360s, she made a 180-turn away from that world which became a little too narrow for her expansive interests and easily-bored personality. More twists and turns eventually brought her to us, via a resumé of gigs that are as cool as they are quirky and are perfectly aligned with how valuable she is to the Base Beauty home team. Anyone on a winding path, destination unknown, will connect with Becca’s story…and the delightful way she tells it. Give a listen.
|Jodi Katz||Hey everybody, welcome to Where Brains Meet Beauty™. I'm happy to be sitting with my team member, Becca Holiday. Oh, my stomach's growling. I wonder if the microphone can pick that up. I'm really hungry. So everyone knows that now, but, Becca, welcome to Where Brains Meet Beauty™.|
|Becca Holliday||Thanks. Glad to be here.|
|Jodi Katz||So Becca is one of our team members. When did you join Base Beauty?|
|Becca Holliday||I joined in March of this year.|
|Jodi Katz||So it's been six months.|
|Jodi Katz||Yeah. So six months. What's it been like?|
|Becca Holliday||It's been good. It's been really fast paced. Yeah, we were joking in the day about how we really hit the ground running. So it was not really an onboarding process so much as a get ready and go, but it's been great. I would much rather work that way. I get bored really easily. So this has been awesome for me. Yeah.|
|Jodi Katz||So some backstory, Becca was my client at a startup hair brand. So several years ago we had a client, a startup hair brand. Becca was on the client team, and I always really enjoyed you. So I want you to tell everybody about your history as a gymnast.|
|Becca Holliday||Oh. (bracelets making noice)|
|Jodi Katz||Well, he had to stop Morgan because Morgan had bracelets jiggling.|
|Becca Holliday||Oh, really?|
|Becca Holliday||Oh my gosh.|
|Jodi Katz||I guess all of our regular guests just are minimalist jewelry-|
|Becca Holliday||I guess. I normally am too. It's funny that I even wore these today. Oopsies. I made these actually.|
|Jodi Katz||Oh, they're cool. So I'll just pick up from our last question.|
|Jodi Katz||Okay. So I want everybody to hear about your gymnastics career.|
|Becca Holliday||Yeah. So I was a gymnast for 16 years, and I started when I was 16. I'm sorry, I started when I was six, and I did it until I was in my 20s. So I competed as a child for USAG, which is like the general, national, undergrad essentially. And then I went and did division one college gymnastics at Utah State. It was very fun. It was really difficult, but it was cool. It was definitely a big thing that shaped who I am and how my trajectory has gone for sure.|
|Jodi Katz||When you're in college, did you have a specific presentation or a platform that you're really good at? I don't know the language of gymnastics.|
|Becca Holliday||Yeah, an event.|
|Jodi Katz||Yeah, an event.|
|Becca Holliday||Yeah, people always ask me that. And so I was an all-arounder. So I did all four events. So women's gymnastics has vault bars, beam, and floor. And my favorite event was the bars. But the event that I was actually the best at was beam. But beam is so terrifying. It wasn't fun for me at all, and my coach always wanted me to go in and be the anchor spot, which is you're one of the last people to go. So it's extra nerve-racking. And I always would try and kind of push back. I didn't want to be in that spot, but I typically did. And anyway, it's always fun to do good. But it was so nerve-racking. I would much prefer to go to the bars and just have fun.|
|Jodi Katz||It's so interesting that you say you were an all-arounder and you work really great under pressure, but because that's sort of the way you are at Base Beauty. You have obviously some very specific tasks with our clients here, but you were so talented in every aspect of marketing for them. I'm thinking really holistically. So that totally transfers to your work.|
|Becca Holliday||That's so funny. Yeah. That's cool. Yeah, I think, I don't know if that had to do with just that I do get really bored easily. I like to be doing lots of different things, right? So I'm interested... Like my interests tend to go to all different directions. Even in gymnastics, I used to go to practice and I would think like, "Wow, it'd be really boring practice if I only did one event." Like some people would really, they'd come and they would just do one, which is fine. But it just didn't feel enough.|
|Jodi Katz||So your job at this startup hair band, was that your first job out of college?|
|Becca Holliday||No, actually my first job out of college was completely different. My first big kid job out of college, right? I got a job at a residential housing developer and I was their lifestyle director for a couple of years, and I really liked it. I did events like every single day, and I did a full event calendar and managed all of their different aspects of their community. So they had, it was a really cool neighborhood. They had a huge pool. When I say huge pool, I mean three pools. It was a big pool complex, and there was a cafe and hence my coffee obsession. So I had to run the cafe and learn how to barista and just do all these different things.
They had a fitness center, so that was a really cool job. But I did a lot of marketing, and that was where I started moving into social media. I'm sure that brand was a little bit behind the time and also residential developers, not necessarily doing a whole lot of social media but they really wanted to. They were trying to be very progressive. So I started their Instagram. I used to do their full Facebook calendar and then also a lot of, we didn't call it this at the time, but community management, which was super intense because people get really upset with their HOA's and things.
But it was awesome. It was a really fun job. And that is what actually led me to the haircare company I was at. One of the residents was Dina.
|Jodi Katz||Oh. I didn't know that. That's so cool. Dina, her coworker at the brand. It's so interesting that at this residential complex you were doing community management, but in real life community manager?|
|Becca Holliday||It was both. It was real life community management and then also literally online community management. And I was telling Claire this the other day that when we get someone who maybe isn't happy about something on social right now, it's very removed, right? it's some random person. They're like, "I'm in such and such place and I need help." And they might say like, "You or you guys or whatever," but they don't really know who you are. So even if they're being kind of a jerk, it's not that offensive. You just don't feel that bad. I knew all of these people.|
|Jodi Katz||You'd see them daily.|
|Becca Holliday||Literally would see them daily, and I knew them all personally, like knew their kids and their parents. It was crazy, and the things that they would say. And they were personally call me out on social. So it really helped me get a thicker skin for that type of thing. Of like if someone's upset, they're not really. It's not me. They're upset about this company or they're upset or they're having a bad day. People would just yell at me randomly, and I would have to just go like, "Okay." I would beat myself up sometimes. But you have to just step back and say, "They're having a bad day and this is..." I did everything I could for them. So that was a great learning experience.|
|Jodi Katz||Well, that's interesting because we talk about that all the time, right?|
|Becca Holliday||Totally. It's a daily practice.|
|Jodi Katz||Right. Not just with the community management, with also clients or vendors. Everybody's human, and a lot of the times the I guess level of aggression or frustration that a client would have about something that we did or did not do might be 10% about that thing. But it might be 90% about like, traffic or their kids said something to them or the dog pooped on the lawn and no one picked it up.|
|Becca Holliday||Or their bosses mad at them about something else.|
|Jodi Katz||And removing yourself from it and realizing that we're all just human beings... Well, let me get to the root of the problem. We talked about that. We spend a lot of time on that.|
|Becca Holliday||Totally. Yeah.|
|Jodi Katz||So let's talk about the hair brand. So what I love so much about what you had to do there is you kind of had to do everything, a little of everything. But you spent a ton of time at trade shows. So trade show life, tell us about it.|
|Becca Holliday||Oh my gosh. So I used to compare trade show life to a traveling circus. This is what I would tell everyone. So all my friends back home when I was living in Charlotte were like, "Your job is so cool. It's so glamorous. You get to go to all these places. You're always traveling." And I'm like, "It's literally a traveling circus."
So my first hair show I believe was in Toronto, and I had no idea what I was getting into it. The level of noise and visual stimulation and just amount of people and everything. I had never experienced anything like this. It was just absolute insanity. And the creativity that you're seeing too, you would never see something that on the street or even on the internet really unless you're in these various select groups, and you're looking for it. So there's really over the top colors, lights, sounds.
I used to fly in. Usually I'd fly in a day or two before the show. So I would fly in in my setup clothes. I'd be ready to go and I would go straight to the trade show. And it will be this big empty giant space where there's all these people doing construction. It was usually a bunch of men. There were very few women that would go in for set up. And usually it was me and one other person. But sometimes I would go in by myself and unload these pallets. I would spend hours and hours with a knife and climbing on top of six foot high pallets and unpacking them and getting everything ready. And then you do-
|Jodi Katz||Wait. Can I ask a question about the setup day?|
|Jodi Katz||Does this show put your pallet in your spots? When you get there, everything's organized. The deliveries are organized?|
|Becca Holliday||Yeah. Usually. So that was always kind of a fun logistical thing to deal with too. So yeah, you kind of get there and hope everything's all good. So that's sort of your first step. You get there, you make sure that your booth is there and that everything has arrived. And then you have these big pallets, usually you know multiple pallets, and you have to start doing inventory and making sure that you have your inventory lists that everything arrived. And that in itself is a huge task just to unpack these pallets, to keep track of everything. It's difficult to organize because there's just complete chaos going around you. There's trash everywhere. There is people on construction vehicles. There's literally danger. You have to be really careful where you are, what you're doing. It's usually hot. There's just so many things happening. So yeah, you have to make sure that your booth has actually arrived and that it's not damaged too. That's another big part is, "Did we get everything, and is it all here in tact?" Because it definitely happens and has happened to probably anyone who's done a lot of trade shows that your booth or your product is damaged.|
|Jodi Katz||So the booth, the back wall and the display units and that just goes from show to show. So it gets packed up and reshipped to each show.|
|Jodi Katz||So you're unpacking it and making sure it looks as good as it did.|
|Becca Holliday||Yeah. So we had these big huge, really cool shelves. It was almost jewelry counters. They were really beautiful, and our company actually our trade show coordinating company, whatever, they would ship everything. So they handled those, the really big stuff. And then we had to then stock it all with product, make sure that it all looked perfect. That the booth was vacuumed, all the little tiny details. But they would essentially take it out and then just put it in its place and then leave it. And if we need them, we could call them. But-|
|Jodi Katz||Oh, okay. So they're in the business of getting the display units from place to place on time and in good condition. And I guess they have repair people who can come and fix things if things are not right.|
|Becca Holliday||Yeah. I mean, most of the time nothing was broken, but it does happen occasionally. Or you just notice little things that probably nobody else would notice. No attendee of the trade show is going to notice this little nick on your counter, but you're noticing it because you're like, "Oh my gosh. There's a nick on my counter. What the heck?"|
|Jodi Katz||Right. And your boss is going to notice it.|
|Becca Holliday||Yeah. Oh totally. Yeah.|
|Jodi Katz||Okay. So you'd spend, what? One whole day unpacking boxes, taking inventory, making sure everything's arrived, and then what happens on the next day?|
|Becca Holliday||Then it would kind of depend on the show, but you would either do it all in one day. So you'd do the inventory and then unpack everything and set it up. Or if you were lucky, you had a second day of set up where you could then unpack all of the boxes and make everything pretty basically. So there's sort of the really down in the dirt day, and then there is the a lot easier setup day of just making things look nice. You're not leaving the trade show floor covered in legit dirt. You're not on your hands and knees and tearing through things. You're just really more organizing and making everything look nice. And then you have two to three days of show where you're selling over this counter or trying to yell over all of the sound, all the other people selling. You're trying to get people's attention, right? Your artists are on stage behind you, and they're all talking and trying to get the crowd in. You're trying to get people to stop and want to talk about the products. And the whole time you're battling hundreds of other people who are doing the exact same thing, right?
So there is... Yeah, super challenging. It's a really hard two days on your feet for eight to 10 hours straight. A lot of times in heels, which sounds silly, but almost anyone who's working in a booth is not wearing comfortable shoes, men or women. You're in your nice shoes and your feet are killing you.
|Jodi Katz||So one of the first, I guess maybe the first hair and trade show I went to was for this brand, and I was really taken by the noise.|
|Jodi Katz||It was really challenging.|
|Becca Holliday||Wait. Did you guys come to Orlando?|
|Jodi Katz||Chicago I think.|
|Becca Holliday||Okay. Oh yeah. It's a huge one.|
|Jodi Katz||And then I saw the booth of, I think his name is Martino Cartier. Have you seen this booth?|
|Jodi Katz||Oh my God, you have to look this guy up.|
|Becca Holliday||I mean, I probably saw it at some point, but I don't remember.|
|Jodi Katz||Talk about putting on a show. He's Liberace for hair. It was such a show, and there were people going nuts for him, like he was the Elvis of hair. I mean, any Las Vegas comparison I could meet to him. Hour after hour doing the same schpiel and the song and dance and the sparkly lights and the sparkly suit and creating as much spectacle as possible in this short amount of time. It's intense.|
|Becca Holliday||It's super intense. Yeah. We always had a rotation of artists. We didn't have one specific really big name and so it's... I don't want to say it was easier for them, but it just wasn't quite to that intensity. Anyone doing that, anyone who makes it to the level of being a platform artist, they are true performers. Whether you're on a little small platform or you're on the big huge stage, you're performing and people are there to watch you. That is a huge component of a hair show. Just the spectacle really, and everything is just so over the top. Exactly what you're saying. It's just a lot.|
|Jodi Katz||I think your intimacy with hair and hair brands and also this boots on the ground kind of experience, it's so valuable to everything you do. I mean, I know we're not doing trade show booths set up like you were, but I think the skills really add value to all the community management, all the different directions that your customers attention is pulled in, right? Day in and day out. And you're just so intimate with stylists. You're so incredible with them.|
|Becca Holliday||Oh, thanks.|
|Jodi Katz||So let's talk about how you got this job.|
|Jodi Katz||How did you get this job?|
|Becca Holliday||I got this job... So I actually don't even know if you know the full extent of this story.|
|Jodi Katz||Tell me.|
|Becca Holliday||So I got a part-time or a not a part-time, short term gig in the Catskills as the digital media director for a summer camp last summer, and I had no intention of moving to New York. I wanted to go back to Charlotte and continue freelancing and buy an RV. And I'm not kidding, I'm 100% serious. This almost came to fruition. I had a full plan of what I was going to do, and I was going to get an RV and renovate it. And I was going to cruise around the country for a year. This is my full-|
|Jodi Katz||By yourself?|
|Becca Holliday||Yeah. I was debating on bringing my cat. I hadn't decided yet. So yeah.|
|Jodi Katz||So you were going to... Wait. You were going to do that last summer?|
|Becca Holliday||I was going to do after summer was over.|
|Jodi Katz||Okay. Got it.|
|Becca Holliday||So I was planning to do it and then I got this random offer to go work at the summer camp. And I was like, "Well, I'll just take that. Great. I'll go to this fun, cool adventure. Awesome. I'll just say yes. And then when I come back, the RV will still be here. The RV that I haven't yet purchased will still...This idea will still be here. It'll still be doable.” So I go do that. And my best friend introduced me to her boyfriend's best friend, and then I moved to New York in October.|
|Jodi Katz||Because that boyfriend's best friend became...|
|Becca Holliday||My boyfriend.|
|Jodi Katz||Your boyfriend.|
|Becca Holliday||Yeah. So yeah, such a cheesy story, but that's really what happened. I really had no intention of moving to New York. I thought New York was really cool, and I had been to visit her a bunch of times. I thought it was so great. So she had, when I was working up in the mountain, she was like, "Come down and hang out. My family's in town. Come hang out with us." And they sort of like sneakily invited Eric. And yeah. But it was great.
So I moved to New York and I was like, "Okay, I'm going to keep freelancing and look for a job here though." I don't know if I emailed you or called you or what I did, but I reached out and was like, "Hey, do you know anybody who was hiring? I don't understand the New York job market at all, and I'm very overwhelmed. Can you assist?" And you had said that you didn't have anything right now but you had some freelance stuff. So I started writing for you and doing community management, and that was really fun. I loved it. I was also teaching English online. I was doing so many random things. And then I was walking dogs in the afternoon, which is a super cute new New Yorker job to do in October, November. Oh you get to walk around New York. I'm take this dog into Central Park, and then it's January and it's five degrees out. And it's super not cute anymore. It's the worst thing ever. And you're like, "What am I doing?"
So yeah. So I did that literally all through the winter and it was great. It was honestly one of the best things I did upon first moving here just because it got me out of the apartment and around the city, and I learned how to navigate and spend time outside and kind of got to have this time to listen to podcasts. And just almost meditative time with random dogs but whatever. But I had my dogs that I always would go and see. So I actually really like... I look upon it very fondly.
But anyway, in March, I was in California visiting my dad, and you called me. And you were like, "Hey, do you want a job? Are you still looking for a full time job?" And I was like, "Yeah, I am." And I actually was at first when you called, I thought that you were worried that I was going to stop freelancing for you, and you were seeing if I was still looking for something. And I was like, "Yeah, no. I still totally want to do work for you. But yeah, I am looking for something. I'll keep doing the freelance on the side if I get offered." And you were like, "I think I have something for you. And if you get another offer, don't take it until you call me." And I was like, "Oh wow. Okay, cool." I think you called me back a week later and said, "Let's do this." So yeah.
|Jodi Katz||I think the universe just continues to give me gifts, and we just recorded with Morgan and it was the same thing. She's like, "Hey, do you know anything? What should I be doing with my career?" I'm like, "Well, come work for us." So the fact that I've worked with you before and I knew you and then I could see your work and your talent and then had a job for you, it gives me so much joy. It really does.|
|Becca Holliday||No, it was really cool. And for me it was a super cool moment. I remember saying to Eric like, "I've always looked up to Jody. When Jody was working with our company, I was like, 'Oh my gosh.'" I just thought, I don't know, I just loved everything that you guys did. And I thought that Base Beauty was so awesome, and I really never in a million years thought that I would be doing this and would be living in New York. It wasn't sort of the vision that I had for myself. Clearly I thought I was going to go live in an RV. So this is so sideways, but so awesome. Some days I wake up and get on the train and come to work and I'm like, "Oh, this is so cool." I'm still very entertained by it and just think it's awesome.|
|Jodi Katz||Well, you're such an important part of the team. I'm so grateful that you're here.|
|Becca Holliday||Thank you.|
|Jodi Katz||I feel like we really dominate together. You know? You keep adding layers and layers of greatness to her work.|
|Becca Holliday||Aw, yay. Thanks.|
|Jodi Katz||Okay. Love fest over. I hope everybody gets to meet Becca, but if you want to reach her over email, she's at firstname.lastname@example.org. Which I just wanted to call you Becca all the time, but I have to type Rebecca. For you, I will make that effort. So email@example.com. Thanks everybody.|